Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: thelawman on May 28, 2008, 12:57:18 AM

Title: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: thelawman on May 28, 2008, 12:57:18 AM
im deciding between USC ($0) Hastings (20K) and Loyola (full) ;D

im reasoning that if i can do well at the top 2 schools i can get top 10% at loyola with little debt and have the same opportunities afforded to me  :o

im scared tho that if i dont get top 10% at loyola my life is pretty much, for all intent and purposes, finished  :'( 

what's the decision?    ???

Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: themanwithnoname on May 28, 2008, 05:17:52 AM
the answer is if you are going to flame you might not want to be quite so obvious.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: procrastinator on May 28, 2008, 01:29:44 PM
Hastings.  SF rocks.  I don't think this is a flame and I'm serious.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: bloomlaw on May 28, 2008, 04:34:52 PM
im deciding between USC ($0) Hastings (20K) and Loyola (full) ;D

im reasoning that if i can do well at the top 2 schools i can get top 10% at loyola with little debt and have the same opportunities afforded to me  :o

im scared tho that if i dont get top 10% at loyola my life is pretty much, for all intent and purposes, finished  :'( 


what's the decision?    ???



this is the problem here, to think that lack of direct and immediate success out of law school means your life is over. God, I wish more people would realize that your career is a way to make money consistently to pay for what you want, not what you want
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Ninja1 on May 28, 2008, 05:38:50 PM
USC unless you really want to live in SF, then Hastings.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: dashrashi on May 29, 2008, 07:19:40 AM
im deciding between USC ($0) Hastings (20K) and Loyola (full) ;D

im reasoning that if i can do well at the top 2 schools i can get top 10% at loyola with little debt and have the same opportunities afforded to me  :o

im scared tho that if i dont get top 10% at loyola my life is pretty much, for all intent and purposes, finished  :'( 

what's the decision?    ???



this is the problem here, to think that lack of direct and immediate success out of law school means your life is over. God, I wish more people would realize that your career is a way to make money consistently to pay for what you want, not what you want

That's not the problem. The bolded is the problem. OP, of all the law school assumptions never to make, this might be Number 1. This is why most people tell you to go to the best school you get into; it's inordinately hard--if not outright impossible--to predict how you'll do in law school, no matter the rank of the school. Also: scholarship maintenance requirements? Are there any?
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: StevePirates on May 29, 2008, 10:27:44 AM
I was in a similar situation.  I chose the full ride at the t4 over getting in at the top schools I got into.  So far it's worked out well for me.  being a scholarship student at my school comes with perks.  Administration knows and cares who you are and how you're doing.  I've had about a dozen dinner and lunches with the dean and several of the trustees.  Those extras were the deciding factor for me.  In law it's as much who you know as what you know.  At my school at least, being on scholarship lets you know a lot of people who can really help your career start right.

IF Loyola's scholarship programs are like that... then I'd definitely go for it (because I already have, right?).  If it's just money, and the scholarship is in jeopardy if you don't do fantastically well.....

Then Go Trojans!!
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: DCLabor25 on May 29, 2008, 07:54:57 PM
im deciding between USC ($0) Hastings (20K) and Loyola (full) ;D

im reasoning that if i can do well at the top 2 schools i can get top 10% at loyola with little debt and have the same opportunities afforded to me  :o

im scared tho that if i dont get top 10% at loyola my life is pretty much, for all intent and purposes, finished  :'( 

what's the decision?    ???



this is the problem here, to think that lack of direct and immediate success out of law school means your life is over. God, I wish more people would realize that your career is a way to make money consistently to pay for what you want, not what you want

That's not the problem. The bolded is the problem. OP, of all the law school assumptions never to make, this might be Number 1. This is why most people tell you to go to the best school you get into; it's inordinately hard--if not outright impossible--to predict how you'll do in law school, no matter the rank of the school. Also: scholarship maintenance requirements? Are there any?

OP -- this is a tough decision and I was faced with sort of the same thing.  I would strongly urge you to read the following article -- I found it very helpful in my own decision-making:

http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter/lawArticleCareerCenter.jsp?id=1208256428026

and the main chart that goes along with their story:

http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf

I agree that you can not assume that you will finish higher at Loyola simply because of the lower ranking.  BUT, I also think that this article lays out the case as to why "always going to the best school" might not be the best advice either, especially when that school is outside the T14.  As you can see from the chart, less than 20 percent of USC grads made NLJ250 firms.  And looking up their cost on LSAC reveals that they are $40K a year alone in tuition.  I imagine you can easily spend $180K over three years if you add together tuition and cost of living.  Is it worth that gamble?

The only rational way to answer that question is to look at a lot of different factors -- how obsessed are you with making BIGLAW?  What do the majority of Loyola grads do?  Would you be happy with only making say $60K or maybe even less coming out of law school?  Does that outweigh the risk of taking out $180K in loans?  Do you have prior connections that might come in handy come job search time?  How far above Loyola's 75 percent range are your GPA and LSAT score?  Do you have undergrad debt?  What type of salary do the non-BIGLAW people at USC make?  Could you stomach having $180K in loans and maybe only making $50 or $60K?  Have you run those numbers to see what your loan repayments would be?

These are all variables that I think you have to consider.  Different answers to those questions should determine the answer to this question.  What I think is the wrong strategy however is just blindly using USNWR or blindly taking a scholarship offer.  You have to realize that there are very complicated tradeoffs in this equation.  Simply going to the higher ranked school however is NOT a guarantee of getting a better job -- it statistically increases your chances but even that increase might be very small and not worth the additional debt.   
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Astro on May 29, 2008, 08:03:39 PM
the answer is if you are going to flame you might not want to be quite so obvious.

lulz

Credited.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: baller1023 on May 29, 2008, 11:34:51 PM
i admit that my post is a shameless USC troll

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1207904889529
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: DCLabor25 on May 30, 2008, 06:02:28 AM
i admit that my post is a shameless USC troll

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1207904889529

What's interesting is that when you compare this chart to the other chart compiled by Henderson and Morriss.  The two charts use different data years -- Henderson and Morriss using the 2005 hiring data and this one is 2007.  For all of the main schools, however, their precentages are up in 2007 when compared to 2005 -- USC included, of course.  I think part of that might be the economy -- it will be interesting to see what happens in next year's data.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: StevePirates on May 30, 2008, 02:54:05 PM
scholarship requirements are 2.6 and if i cant maintain this then i probably dont belong in law school and realizing this on a free ride might be the best move    ;)

You need to find out what 2.6 means on the forced curve.  For instance, my scholarship required I am in the top 25%, so that's not too onerous.  Especially since after the first semester I was in the top 10%.  So from here on in, as long as I don't botch anything, I'm set.

Without knowing where 2.6 is on the curve, you don't necessarily know what the risks are.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Ninja1 on May 30, 2008, 10:27:16 PM
scholarship requirements are 2.6 and if i cant maintain this then i probably dont belong in law school and realizing this on a free ride might be the best move    ;)

You need to find out what 2.6 means on the forced curve.  For instance, my scholarship required I am in the top 25%, so that's not too onerous.  Especially since after the first semester I was in the top 10%.  So from here on in, as long as I don't botch anything, I'm set.

Without knowing where 2.6 is on the curve, you don't necessarily know what the risks are.

TITCR. Some law schools have curves that force a median in the mid to high 2s. If you're like most law school bound folks, a C was probably a rarity if it existed at all in UG. Law school, however, is a whole new beast.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: dashrashi on May 31, 2008, 10:15:42 AM
after narrowing down my choices to these 3 i have come to realize i am extremely adverse to the thought of being 100k+ in debt so yes i am leaning HEAVILY towards loyola - obviously i never been to law school but i feel if it clicks for me (big if) i can tear it up and finish top 10% no matter where i go so i will have the same opportunities from this T2 school as i would if i made the cut at the T1 schools

from what i found out hastings does nearly as well as usc in placing its students in big law - the only benefit usc has i think is that its campus is probably 2nd to none

scholarship requirements are 2.6 and if i cant maintain this then i probably dont belong in law school and realizing this on a free ride might be the best move    ;)

See above re forced curve. And re being sure you'll be in the top 10%, I only have this to add: it's your funeral.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Ninja1 on May 31, 2008, 11:16:08 AM
And another fun point on the curve, I don't know about any of your particular schools, but some schools will lump together most of the people receiving scholarships into a section so that a good number are essentially guaranteed to lose their scholarships.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: UnoriginalAndrew on June 02, 2008, 09:21:11 AM
I got a Loyola Law scholarship, too.  They said in the letter that a 2.6 was roughly the top 2/3rds.  Keeping the scholarship seems reasonable.

And yes, if you finish top 10% you'll be fine and dandy just about anywhere.  And if you finish top 2% you'll be even better....

...OR if you finish #1 in your class, maybe you could transfer into Harvard!  Or Yale!

Be safe, OP.  Assume median.  Know what kind of job median will get you from Loyola before going there.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: thelawman on June 03, 2008, 12:35:43 AM
assume median???

with the exception of t14 schools the median will make it difficult to land a job

maybe i will be best suited to presume i will flunk out wherever i go
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Astro on June 03, 2008, 12:43:11 AM
assume median???

with the exception of t14 schools the median will get u nowhere

maybe i will be best suited to  presume i will just flunk out wherever i go

You're a f-ing idiot.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: themanwithnoname on June 03, 2008, 02:35:17 PM
assume median???

with the exception of t14 schools the median will get u nowhere

maybe i will be best suited to  presume i will just flunk out wherever i go
The point of assuming median is that if you have less than 50% of having a result you like coming out of law school, you probably shouldn't go. Given your attitude I don't think you should be going to law school. This is not to insult schools of any rank, but I would hope that people going to any school are happy with their realistic job prospects. A lot of people would be happy with working at a smaller firm or a government job that is not as competitive as some, and they should feel free to attend lower ranked schools. If you can't decide that for yourself you are setting yourself up for misery.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: dashrashi on June 03, 2008, 05:06:06 PM
assume median???

with the exception of t14 schools the median will get u nowhere

maybe i will be best suited to  presume i will just flunk out wherever i go

You're a f-ing idiot.


cheerfully cosigned!
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 02, 2008, 11:50:42 AM
I agree that you can not assume that you will finish higher at Loyola simply because of the lower ranking.  BUT, I also think that this article lays out the case as to why "always going to the best school" might not be the best advice either, especially when that school is outside the T14.  As you can see from the chart, less than 20 percent of USC grads made NLJ250 firms.  And looking up their cost on LSAC reveals that they are $40K a year alone in tuition.  I imagine you can easily spend $180K over three years if you add together tuition and cost of living.  Is it worth that gamble?

The only rational way to answer that question is to look at a lot of different factors -- how obsessed are you with making BIGLAW?  What do the majority of Loyola grads do?  Would you be happy with only making say $60K or maybe even less coming out of law school?  Does that outweigh the risk of taking out $180K in loans?  Do you have prior connections that might come in handy come job search time?  How far above Loyola's 75 percent range are your GPA and LSAT score?  Do you have undergrad debt?  What type of salary do the non-BIGLAW people at USC make?  Could you stomach having $180K in loans and maybe only making $50 or $60K?  Have you run those numbers to see what your loan repayments would be?

These are all variables that I think you have to consider.  Different answers to those questions should determine the answer to this question.  What I think is the wrong strategy however is just blindly using USNWR or blindly taking a scholarship offer.  You have to realize that there are very complicated tradeoffs in this equation.  Simply going to the higher ranked school however is NOT a guarantee of getting a better job -- it statistically increases your chances but even that increase might be very small and not worth the additional debt.   
[/quote]

I think this is all great advice. Let me propose this question: is it really the end of the world if a grad doesn't get into big law right out of school? Is it not possible to make lateral moves up the big firms from smaller boutique firms? Even with $100k plus of debt, you can still service your debt with an $60k job if you budget well. I suppose that claim is dependent on the market you practice in, though. You can live cheap for a few years and then make it to the big time. Am I wrong?
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 02, 2008, 10:55:53 PM
I mean you no disrespect, but you don't have a clue of what you are talking about. I hope you are not an accountant. I am a CPA, though. So, let me give you some numbers:

With $120k of debt coming out of law school (I'm rolling undergrad debt into this) and a loan amortized over 10 years at 9.5%, your minimum monthly payment would be $1,552.27. If you amortized it over 30 years through consolidation, you would pay $1,009.03, assuming the same interest rate. Let's go with ten years at 9.5% (which is a little high). Your annual aggregated loan payments would be roughly $18,600. So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600. After taxes and loan payments, you have $33,700 (roughly) of disposable income. That's more than I make now after taxes and student loan payments. I live just fine, drive a new car, and live in a nice neighborhood. I'm not wealthy, but I have no trouble living and saving money.

Now, I don't know if you can move from a boutique firm to big law. I don't see why that is not possible, but I have no facts one way or the other. I can only speak for the accounting profession. It's very easy to move from a small firm to a big 4 firm. Why is law different? Maybe it just is.

Now $60k may not be enough in CA, NY, DC, ect. It's more than enough in Las Vegas, Phoenix, New Mexico, Utah, ect. So, if you plan to practice in CA, you might be in trouble with large sums of debt and job prospects that fall short of the largest firms. Those are the breaks of trying to compete in saturated markets.

If you take the free school, you have much more wiggle room.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Resident CLS Troll on July 03, 2008, 04:20:54 AM
Now, I don't know if you can move from a boutique firm to big law. I don't see why that is not possible, but I have no facts one way or the other. I can only speak for the accounting profession. It's very easy to move from a small firm to a big 4 firm. Why is law different? Maybe it just is.

What do you mean by "boutique firm"?  Boutiques in the legal profession are generally firms that have similar hiring standards and compensation structures as the large firms but that simply happen to be smaller and more specialized.  For example, no one questions that a place like Susman Godfrey is populated by lawyers who could lateral to big firms. 

Firms that happen to be regional or local with smaller numbers of lawyers, easier hiring standards, lower compensation are not generally referred to as "boutiques".  There's no reason why a lawyer couldn't really distinguish herself at one of these places and lateral to a big law firm, but that's exceedingly rare from what I've observed.

And as for why law is different from accounting, law is far more stratified and (slightly irrationally, in my opinion) obsessed with the idea of "prestige".
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 03, 2008, 08:52:54 AM
How you came up with $9600 I have no clue, considering that's around what I paid on a lower income with a number of significant above the line deductions.  $15k is closer to reality.

OP was considering between Loyola LA, Hastings, and USC, so that's not flyover-state cost-of-living.

Did you read my post or just skim it? I said that CA would be a tough market to make it in based on my example. However, SLC, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and New Mexico, are all markets where someone could make it with that kind of debt load. A CA degree is very portable in those markets.

Let's use your figure of $15k in taxes (CA has local taxes that I didn't factor into my very generic example, which by the way, I could find more deductions if I wanted to). You would still have $27k to live on. That's enough in smaller markets, but not CA. You can always consolidate your loans at a lower rate and amortize them over a longer term to ease some strain. I used a high interest rate in my example and amortized loans over ten years.

You can live, though not on easy street, for sure. I don't know if you can lateral up to big firms, but even government jobs pay $100k or so with experience. I know grads from less than pretigious schools who got some good jobs with experience.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 03, 2008, 08:55:37 AM
Now, I don't know if you can move from a boutique firm to big law. I don't see why that is not possible, but I have no facts one way or the other. I can only speak for the accounting profession. It's very easy to move from a small firm to a big 4 firm. Why is law different? Maybe it just is.

What do you mean by "boutique firm"?  Boutiques in the legal profession are generally firms that have similar hiring standards and compensation structures as the large firms but that simply happen to be smaller and more specialized.  For example, no one questions that a place like Susman Godfrey is populated by lawyers who could lateral to big firms. 

Firms that happen to be regional or local with smaller numbers of lawyers, easier hiring standards, lower compensation are not generally referred to as "boutiques".  There's no reason why a lawyer couldn't really distinguish herself at one of these places and lateral to a big law firm, but that's exceedingly rare from what I've observed.

And as for why law is different from accounting, law is far more stratified and (slightly irrationally, in my opinion) obsessed with the idea of "prestige".

I would define a boutique firm as a firm with less than 30 attorneys and a few practice areas, at most. I understand the prestige governs major markets in the legal profession.

Look at the attorney profiles of Las Vegas firms, though. Outside of the very largest of firms, you can't find anyone from prestigious schools. Phoenix is somewhat similar. The smaller firms seem to be full of non-prestige grads in those markets. Why? If what you say is true, then that shouldn't be the case.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 03, 2008, 10:25:58 AM

And as for why law is different from accounting, law is far more stratified and (slightly irrationally, in my opinion) obsessed with the idea of "prestige".

Supply and demand is the largest difference in the professions, actually. There are more jobs than accountants to fill them. I wouldn't say that there is a glut of lawyers, but in certain practice areas that may be true. Also, there are no prestigious accounting schools. Some are rated higher than others, but a debit is a debit at every school. You won't get a better education at UoT Austin or USC than at UNLV. I think this is also true for law, but the demographics of the job market force employers to attempt to distinguish applicants by splitting hairs over irrelevant issues. There really is no difference in the quality of legal education at a T14 school compared to a T2 school. The curriculums are identical. Supply and demand in the job market perpetuate the perception of prestigious schools graduating better attorneys. If anything, the prestigious schools simply attract better talent rather than produce a better final product.

Maybe lawyers are more insecure because their profession is really not that difficult. Accountants that go into law find it incredibly easy in comparison. So, if you don't have skill and talent to hang your hat on, maybe prestige is all that's left. I know I would rather write briefs and research case law than calculate derivative liabilities or value joint venture interests in foreign currencies and tranlate the unrealized gain/loss to USD.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Resident CLS Troll on July 03, 2008, 03:48:48 PM
There really is no difference in the quality of legal education at a T14 school compared to a T2 school. The curriculums are identical.

You're putting forward an opinion as if it were a fact.  Likewise when you assert that law is easy compared to accounting.

And small firms are not all boutiques.  Some are just small firms.  I wouldn't consider a small firm a boutique unless it had hiring criteria and compensation structures comparable to the large firms.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 03, 2008, 04:41:52 PM
There really is no difference in the quality of legal education at a T14 school compared to a T2 school. The curriculums are identical.

You're putting forward an opinion as if it were a fact.  Likewise when you assert that law is easy compared to accounting.

And small firms are not all boutiques.  Some are just small firms.  I wouldn't consider a small firm a boutique unless it had hiring criteria and compensation structures comparable to the large firms.

Point taken. The curriculums are identical. Read course descriptions in school handbooks. I'm also only talking about first and second year (first semester courses).

As far as accounting being harder than law, that is an opinion. It's not a fact, but some circumstantial evidence in my favor: far fewer people pass the cpa exam on the first try than the bar exam. State Boards of Accountancy require two years of practice before candidates can take the CPA exam. You don't need a shred of experience to take the bar exam.

Law school is essentially reading and briefing cases. It's not hard. I do that on my own time for fun. The reasoning required for a legal career is not difficult at all. The process is more competative, though. Law school exams are harder than undergrad exams, I'm sure.

Accounting is a whole different ballgame. If I handed someone a general ledger and told them to prepare financials, there is no way they would be able to do it if they were not an accountant. Paralegals often do the same worka as attorneys without attending law school. They just can't advise clients or represent them in court. Often, though, a good paralegal knows just as much law as an attorney in specified fields. The practice of law is just not as intellectually demanding until you get into tax law and IP law. Yes, this is an opinion. I guess I'll let you know on the other side of the bar exam if it's valid or not.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: vap on July 04, 2008, 01:08:22 AM
So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600.

 ???
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 04, 2008, 01:06:49 PM
So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600.

 ???

Ok, what is your calculation?
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: vap on July 04, 2008, 03:43:15 PM
So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600.

 ???

Ok, what is your calculation?

I would say closer to $22K for a single filer with standard deduction, including federal income tax, state and locality income tax (8%), and social security tax.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 07, 2008, 07:13:25 PM
With payroll taxes, I get $14,300. Fifteen is reasonable if there is a locality tax that I'm missing. That still leaves plenty to live on if you budget well.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: vap on July 07, 2008, 09:12:36 PM
So, lets assume that you make $60k out of law school, just for argument's sake. I estimate federal and state taxes (with no material deductions) to be roughly $9,600.

 ???

Ok, what is your calculation?

I would say closer to $22K for a single filer with standard deduction, including federal income tax, state and locality income tax (8%), and social security tax.

Nah, it's closer to $15k.  Remember that difference between average and marginal tax rates for both state and federal taxes, eh?

$60,000 - $8,750 (standard and one exemption) = $51,250 taxable income
Federal income tax on $51,250 = $9,243 (tax table, page 69, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf)
FICA tax on $60,000 (about 7.65%) = $4,590
State income tax on $51,250 (about 8%) = $4,100

Total tax = $17,933.

I overestimated the FICA tax in my initial calculation (I was a Schedule C filer for several years so had to pay about 15% rather than 7.65%).


Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 07, 2008, 10:10:16 PM


$60,000 - $8,750 (standard and one exemption) = $51,250 taxable income
Federal income tax on $51,250 = $9,243 (tax table, page 69, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf)
FICA tax on $60,000 (about 7.65%) = $4,590
State income tax on $51,250 (about 8%) = $4,100

Total tax = $17,933.

I overestimated the FICA tax in my initial calculation (I was a Schedule C filer for several years so had to pay about 15% rather than 7.65%).
[/quote]

What about student loan interest? That is deductible up to $2,500 if your adjusted AGI is less than $65,000.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: vap on July 07, 2008, 10:38:59 PM
Quote from: vap
$60,000 - $8,750 (standard and one exemption) = $51,250 taxable income
Federal income tax on $51,250 = $9,243 (tax table, page 69, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf)
FICA tax on $60,000 (about 7.65%) = $4,590
State income tax on $51,250 (about 8%) = $4,100

Total tax = $17,933.

I overestimated the FICA tax in my initial calculation (I was a Schedule C filer for several years so had to pay about 15% rather than 7.65%).

What about student loan interest? That is deductible up to $2,500 if your adjusted AGI is less than $65,000.

Good call.  I'm guessing the limit is raised in 2008, but in 2007 it phased out after $50K.  Deduction would have been about $1,667 if the filer had $2,500 of loan interest, if I remember correctly.

But anyway, I don't really want to play a game where you ask for a calculations and then snipe.  It seems like that's all that people do on these message boards.  (Person A:  I think X; Person B: Oh really, explain please; Person A: *explains*; Person B: Oh, your explanation is bad for Z and Y reasons.).  I'm sick and tired of that type of arguing.  I wish people could just state their proposition and present an argument upfront.  Maybe I've been in law school too long. lol.

Bottom line: if living in a high COL area with higher end state/locality tax, $9,600 is a low estimate.  My initial $22K estimate was too high.  I think we would probably end up splitting the difference.  As Waitlisted suggests, probably closer to $15K.  A little more than that, in my opinion.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 07, 2008, 10:53:15 PM
Ok, let's split the difference. Either way, it's immaterial. The question is can you live on $42k after taxes? I think so. After loan payments, you might have between $20 and $25k. Let's assume there is no repayment assistance (many schools have something, even if it is not great). So on $20k, what can you do? You cannot buy a house or drive a new car, right away. You cannot eat out every night. You cannot buy the most expensive clothes and get the latest and greatest consumer electronic gadgets. You can, however, live. You can get roommates in a three bedroom apartment or a good size house in a decent neighborhood. You can drive a new used car or a reliable older car. You can shop at Men's Wearhouse for clothes instead of Brook's Brothers. You can even teach at a community college or a private school to cover loan payments. Now, you are not living such a "threadbare" life.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 08, 2008, 07:29:07 AM


But anyway, I don't really want to play a game where you ask for a calculations and then snipe.  It seems like that's all that people do on these message boards.  (Person A:  I think X; Person B: Oh really, explain please; Person A: *explains*; Person B: Oh, your explanation is bad for Z and Y reasons.).  I'm sick and tired of that type of arguing.  I wish people could just state their proposition and present an argument upfront.  Maybe I've been in law school too long. lol.

Bottom line: if living in a high COL area with higher end state/locality tax, $9,600 is a low estimate.  My initial $22K estimate was too high.  I think we would probably end up splitting the difference.  As Waitlisted suggests, probably closer to $15K.  A little more than that, in my opinion.
[/quote]

I didn't mean to come off as if I was playing "Gotcha". That simply was not my intent. I do apologize for giving that impression.

I have found a "Top 14 or Bust" mentality on a great deal of message boards. I simply do not see this in practice. I will concede that the biggest firms hire from the top schools. Once you exclude the NLJ250 firms, where you go to school is now of little importance. Debt load is a factor in all markets, however. Not that I take this lightly, but law students have far less to complain about when they compare their lots in life to doctors. A medical student grad has far more debt and make far less the first two years. That is truly a threadbare life. They work ungodly hours in very demanding and stressful environment. What's worse is even after residency, they seldom make big bucks for several years. What are we complaining about?

Many attorneys that work for $60k for a few years start their own practices (either solo, or with a few peers) after five years or so and boost their income. I don't see a problem. Other go into industry, government, and or supplement their income teaching. Again, what is the problem? You will only be broke with a law degree if you are lazy or so foolish as to rack up loads of debt while trying to compete in the most saturated markets. I've heard people say that government jobs are very competitive. This is true, but many government jobs also have a very high turnover. I just don't buy into the doom and gloom outlook.

Family law and DUI practices are booming in my state. Immigration law is a decent living anywhere in the Southwest (you probably won't get rich but you can live a middle class lifestyle). As horrible as it sounds, I know a few insurance defense attorneys who live comfortable lives.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: iscoredawaitlist on July 08, 2008, 01:02:38 PM
There really is no difference in the quality of legal education at a T14 school compared to a T2 school. The curriculums are identical.

You're putting forward an opinion as if it were a fact.  Likewise when you assert that law is easy compared to accounting.

And small firms are not all boutiques.  Some are just small firms.  I wouldn't consider a small firm a boutique unless it had hiring criteria and compensation structures comparable to the large firms.

Point taken. The curriculums are identical. Read course descriptions in school handbooks. I'm also only talking about first and second year (first semester courses).

As far as accounting being harder than law, that is an opinion. It's not a fact, but some circumstantial evidence in my favor: far fewer people pass the cpa exam on the first try than the bar exam. State Boards of Accountancy require two years of practice before candidates can take the CPA exam. You don't need a shred of experience to take the bar exam.

Law school is essentially reading and briefing cases. It's not hard. I do that on my own time for fun. The reasoning required for a legal career is not difficult at all. The process is more competative, though. Law school exams are harder than undergrad exams, I'm sure.

Accounting is a whole different ballgame. If I handed someone a general ledger and told them to prepare financials, there is no way they would be able to do it if they were not an accountant. Paralegals often do the same worka as attorneys without attending law school. They just can't advise clients or represent them in court. Often, though, a good paralegal knows just as much law as an attorney in specified fields. The practice of law is just not as intellectually demanding until you get into tax law and IP law. Yes, this is an opinion. I guess I'll let you know on the other side of the bar exam if it's valid or not.

Who briefs cases for fun? I understand if you're particularly keen you might read some cases for fun (to each their own), but BRIEFING?

Anyway, I didn't brief a single case my second semester.

Also, you're confusing technical knowledge with intellectual rigor.

Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 08, 2008, 06:30:51 PM

[/quote]

Who briefs cases for fun? I understand if you're particularly keen you might read some cases for fun (to each their own), but BRIEFING?

Anyway, I didn't brief a single case my second semester.

Also, you're confusing technical knowledge with intellectual rigor.
[/quote]

I brief cases for fun because I like court decisions. I like to read about things that interest me, and I find redacting a useful skill to develop in all areas of life.

The technical knowledge of accounting is the easy part. The concepts are harder to grasp for many. The material in law is not difficult, it's the process of taking a large breadth of knowledge, sorting out the relevant data, and sumarizing it persuasively or coherently that is difficult. Learning the parameters for when you have a contract or defining consideration is not so difficult. Applying those concepts to varios circumstances is tougher, I'm guessing. Accoutning is sort of opposite. Breaking the mental barrier on the concepts can be tough. They become second nature over time. It's tough to grasp those concepts, at first, though.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Resident CLS Troll on July 08, 2008, 07:51:35 PM
Law school is essentially reading and briefing cases. It's not hard. I do that on my own time for fun. The reasoning required for a legal career is not difficult at all. The process is more competative, though. Law school exams are harder than undergrad exams, I'm sure.

I'm unclear as to why you think you know what law school essentially is.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 08, 2008, 08:07:11 PM
I only know what I'm told. I associate with alot of attorneys, and I ask alot of questions. I don't believe that I ever said that I know what law school is like from any firsthand knowledge; I have stated what I believe it will be like. The fact that I can say much of law school is reading and briefing cases and discussing them in class is akin to saying accounting is working with financial data: it's common knowledge to anyone who has ever read anything about law school, spoken to an attorney, or been friends with a law student. Oh, my girlfriend is an attorney, so, I can say that I have sound secondhand data, though not firsthand data. I've inverviewed law professors at UNLV. I've sat in on law classes at UNLV because I know the professors. None of this translates into firsthand knowledge of law school. However, if I read 1,000 books about Mars, interview astronauts who have landed on Mars, and hang out with expatriate martians, I would say I know a little about Mars. None of that is a substitute for actually going to Mars, though.

My two semesters of business law were taught by a law professor in a format that he says is similar to law school. Granted, it's simply not the same. However, we read and briefed cases, used the socratic method in class, and had a reading load similar to what is in law school (750-1,000 pages a week, except our cases were abridged). We crammed the first year of law school into two sememsters in a very summarized format. I am told that the curriculum was nearly identical except that more cases are discussed and each topic is developed more thoroughly. So, I believe I am familiar with the material. I have been told that the two classes are to law school what a Becker CPA course is to an accounting degree. If a non-accountant took the course, he would learn vocabulary and concepts that would be too far above his head to be of a practical use without in depth study. The purpose of the business law courses was simply to teach legal vocabulary to accountants so we know how to converse intelligently with attorneys and know how to recognize legal issues for referral to an attorney. Nothing I encountered was even remotely difficult. In fact, after advanced accounting courses, I thought they were a breeze.

So, do I know what law school is like? Yes and no. I know the material that I will encounter. I'm familiar with how the material is likely to be taught. That's about it. The rest I know from talking to attorneys, law students, and professors. I hope their descriptions are accurate. I suppose I know no more about law school than I did about Marine Corp boot camp from watching documentaries on the military channel before enlisting in the Marines. Much of what I saw on videos and read in books was quite accurate, though. I'm sure it's no different with law school.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: iscoredawaitlist on July 08, 2008, 11:43:32 PM
I think there's a fairly big difference between what law students spend a lot of time doing and what law school is "all about." Again, I didn't brief a single case my second semester and I was in the top part of the class that semester. I briefed the first semester and did substantially worse. I don't mean to say briefing caused my poorer grades, but I do mean to say that briefing isn't what "law school is all about."

Anyway, you seem very sure of yourself which is fine. Just make sure you're not inflexible come your first class. And for social reasons, I wouldn't play up the fact you know everything about law school.

Oh, and for what it's worth, both my parents are lawyers; I dated a law student all last year; and I was a regular on this board. I still didn't fully understand what law school was "all about." I'm not even sure that I do now.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 09, 2008, 12:28:37 AM
I don't know what it's all about, in the sense that I'm some Zen Master that has figured it out. A bird's eye view of what you do in law school is read cases (I suppose you don't have to brief them). Then you go to class, discuss them, take notes, and go home and study your notes and read more cases. That is just a synopsis, not meant as a definitive declaration of all there is to law school. If I have been unclear, my point is as such: I have studied the basic concepts of law. In doing so, I have covered most, if not all, of the major concept covered in the first year. I have NOT covered them in the same depth as a law student. If you spend a semester on torts, I covered the same very basic concepts in two weeks. I basically did an outline of what you study in the first year of law school. That is what sparked my interest in law. I did not find it hard. In fact, I found it far easier than accounting. It could be that legal reasoning is easier for me. Although, I've heard the same case made by many accountants turned lawyers (tax attorneys and securities attorneys). The two fields have very different objectives, though. Attorneys don't have to balance a set of books and tie out financials.

Not that I would knock the legal profession. I want to go to law school. I simply don't get why attorneys think so much of themselves and their ability to get through law school, even a prestigious school. Medical school deserves the bragging rights. Engineers and architects deserve to be snobby too. Can you build a f***ing building? Then, you deserve to be a snob. Can you save a life? Then you rate. Attorneys don't rate because there is little that they do that other professionals don't regularly. What do attorneys do that is so special? Interview clients? I do that regularly. Write briefs? I write annual and quarterly reports. Litigate? Ok, I can't go to court. Yet many attorneys never go to court. I halfway respect the litigators because they have to at least have the balls to face off with another attorney and put their knowledge and reputation to the test. If an attorney does not go to court, his job is not much different from a consultant. MBAs do that. So what is special about that? I consult client regularly on financial matters and refer clients to attorneys for legal matters. Often, I have to recognize the legal implications of a transaction because a client never will. The only difference in that sense is an attorney can render a legal opinion. Hence, it's consulting until there is a challenge in court. Attorneys can prepare legal documents, but paralegals do the same.  My biggest gripe is with the snobbishness of the profession. Attorneys do very little that is special. I can do almost everything an attorney does, with the exception of going to court and rendering a legal opinion.

For Resident CLS Troll: How do I know this... because I work with plenty of attorneys and attend enough meetings and conference calls with clients and their attorneys. Very few of them can do half of what I do in a day. Hence, it's not a special, glorified profession. Therefore, drop the snobbery and don't think so highly of yourselves. My tone is very strong because I deal with too many attorneys who act like they are gods. I would expect that from a surgeon, but it's not warranted from an attorney. An attorney that graduates from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, or Stanford is still and attorney and about half as bright as the med student or engineer that struggled through Podunk U. He/she won't even manage to do a fraction of  a percent of the good has the engineer or doctor in his/her whole life. I simply don't get the high-mindedness of the profession.



Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: Resident CLS Troll on July 09, 2008, 02:53:34 AM
I only know what I'm told. I associate with alot of attorneys, and I ask alot of questions. I don't believe that I ever said that I know what law school is like from any firsthand knowledge; I have stated what I believe it will be like. The fact that I can say much of law school is reading and briefing cases and discussing them in class is akin to saying accounting is working with financial data: it's common knowledge to anyone who has ever read anything about law school, spoken to an attorney, or been friends with a law student. Oh, my girlfriend is an attorney, so, I can say that I have sound secondhand data, though not firsthand data. I've inverviewed law professors at UNLV. I've sat in on law classes at UNLV because I know the professors. None of this translates into firsthand knowledge of law school. However, if I read 1,000 books about Mars, interview astronauts who have landed on Mars, and hang out with expatriate martians, I would say I know a little about Mars. None of that is a substitute for actually going to Mars, though.

My two semesters of business law were taught by a law professor in a format that he says is similar to law school. Granted, it's simply not the same. However, we read and briefed cases, used the socratic method in class, and had a reading load similar to what is in law school (750-1,000 pages a week, except our cases were abridged). We crammed the first year of law school into two sememsters in a very summarized format. I am told that the curriculum was nearly identical except that more cases are discussed and each topic is developed more thoroughly. So, I believe I am familiar with the material. I have been told that the two classes are to law school what a Becker CPA course is to an accounting degree. If a non-accountant took the course, he would learn vocabulary and concepts that would be too far above his head to be of a practical use without in depth study. The purpose of the business law courses was simply to teach legal vocabulary to accountants so we know how to converse intelligently with attorneys and know how to recognize legal issues for referral to an attorney. Nothing I encountered was even remotely difficult. In fact, after advanced accounting courses, I thought they were a breeze.

So, do I know what law school is like? Yes and no. I know the material that I will encounter. I'm familiar with how the material is likely to be taught. That's about it. The rest I know from talking to attorneys, law students, and professors. I hope their descriptions are accurate. I suppose I know no more about law school than I did about Marine Corp boot camp from watching documentaries on the military channel before enlisting in the Marines. Much of what I saw on videos and read in books was quite accurate, though. I'm sure it's no different with law school.

It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what UNLV might be like.  But perhaps a more apt analogy might be that you've talked to and read books about Las Vegas and are claiming to have a good idea about the state of Nevada in general.

And it's perfectly fine if you think that attorneys need to get over themselves and if you have no respect for the profession whatsoever.  Some of it is, admittedly, rather silly (calling non-lawyers laymen for example).  I simply think that you assume that you know more than you do when you make assertions like "an attorney that graduates from... is half as bright as etc."  And frankly, I'll wager that a number of those attorneys with which you interact think that you can't do half of what they do in a day. 
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 09, 2008, 07:36:04 AM
Now that I have thoroughly trashed the profession, let me state why I want to practice law. I believe that the two greatest skills that attorneys at large possess is the ability to summarize vast sums of information and communicate this knowledge, whether in verbally or in writing, to people completely ignorant of the field of law and the circumstances in question in an understandable way; secondly, they tend be the best negotiators. Those two skills, when combined with any other profession, exponentially increase one's odds of success in any endeavor. If I develop those two skills and decided not to practice law, even as accountant my career prospects would be far stronger than they otherwise would. I think law school is the fastest way to develop these skills.

I want to practice law, primarily criminal law, because I think it is a meaningful pursuit that fosters the public good. I would like to specialize in white collar crimes because most prosecutors have trouble with those types of cases. White collar crimes are difficult to prosecute often because smart people commit the crimes and the burden of proof is difficult to meet. Many juries are confused by the cases because prosecutors often lack the experience in accounting and finance to break the concepts down to lay people while still preserving the integrity of their cases. If I didn't do white collar crime prosecution, I would do expert witness work in forensic accounting and fraud examination.

As an auditor, I sit on the sidelines and quantify the effects of fraud after the fact. Sometimes I am lucky enough to catch it. Even in those instances, I hand my findings off to management, the audit committee, a corporate counsel, a fraud examiner or law enforcement to do what they will with them. I would prefer a more active role in the resolution of these types of cases.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 11, 2008, 11:53:07 AM
Waitlisted:

You're probably right in that attending a lower tier school and racking up significant debt is not smart nor the ideal circumstance. However, my point is simply that there is life after such mistakes... and a life that is not SO horrible. My personal rule is as follows: NEVER attend a T3/T4 school (in any discipline, but especially Law) unless you plan to practice in the IMMEDIATE vicinity of the school and/or you have a scholarship that is not dependent upon grades or class rank. This will allow one to maintain a low debt load and build contacts in the local area.

That being said, I am not applying to any T3/T4 schools. I am sticking with T1/T2 state schools.

Either way, you are going to claw your way out of debt whatever school you choose, provided that you don't get a scholarship. It's damn near impossible to come out of law school without $100k or more of debt and attend a T1 school. If you end up at say Alabama or Utah as an in-state resident, it's possible. Most T14 schools will at least cost you $120k in just tuition and fees without significant scholarships. I don't view the debt as too big of a problem. Yet I have a different perspective. I will NEVER be out of a job. This may not be the case for all law graduates (though, I think there is plenty of work to go around in many practice areas). I the very minimum, a law degree puts me on the fast track for a partnership at a Big 4 accounting firm. I can do expert witness work as a forensic accountant. I can teach undergrad. I can teach graduate accounting courses if I get a dual  JD/Master's of Acc. degree. I can practice both accounting, securities, and tax law in my own firm. I can do fraud examination. My options are limitless WHEREVER I go simply because no accounting firm would care where I went to law school. So, if I can't break into white collar crime prosecution at the federal or state AG level or the SEC, I will land on my feet somewhere.

So, for argument's sake, let't say that I come out of law school with $120k in debt. The Clark County District Attorney's office pays starting prosecutors $60k. They move up to $66k in two years. Nevada has no state taxes, so your figures are very high. I would pay roughly $9,600 in taxes (including payroll taxes). Since my expenses won't change much out of law school, with the exception of student loan payments (which I will consolidate and amortize over the longer possible term), I'll have more than enough disposable income to meet my obligations and live a decent life until my salary increases to six figures. At about the five year mark, prosecutors climb to about $105k in Clark County. If I were able to make a lateral move to either the SEC or the DOJ (less likely) at that point, I would start between $85 and $120k, depending on the market. Hence, I would be fine. Do I care if I ever pay off my debt? Nope. As long as I can make the minimum payments, I hope I die with student loan debt and stick the lenders with the liabilities and the task of collecting from my estate.

Now, the discussion changes drastically when the principal is a liberal arts major with no real work experience out of law school that graduates from a T3/T4 school and is the middle or bottom of the class. I already have two professional designations and a few years in a sister profession. This does not apply to me.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: StevePirates on July 11, 2008, 12:10:54 PM
I really wish that life had an "epilogue" feature that would allow us to find out what happens to kenpo in eight years now.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 11, 2008, 06:27:41 PM
I agree, that for the majority of law students, high tuition costs are a problem. The top students that get into the best schools will more than likely make the money to service their debts. Everyone else has got to keep a handle on their debt load. I do think that it is possible to claw your way up out of the $50-$60k salary bracket into a comfortable six figure range... after about 5-10 years of hard work. I also believe that most prospective law students are entering the profession with very unrealistic notions of their success after law school. In proportion to the total law number of law graduates per year, I would be willing to guess that only a small percentage make more than say $90-$100k right out of school. For those that do, they are typically not as well off as many would think because of the dangers of the AMT and high cost of living rates in big markets.

I doubt the job market will be better for MBAs and other professionals, though. With the economy taking a turn for the worse (and what seems like more than a temporary dip), law may turn out to be a more stable profession than others. It's hard to say.

Unfortunately, too many law students probably enter the field for all the wrong reasons... money and prestige. The fact of the matter is that law, like accounting is a stressful profession. I have very tight deadlines, and I work a TON of hours. Those are the realities in any client-driven profession. If you truly don't love your job and find purpose in it, the money, no matter how much, will never be enough. Sadly, many law grads will find that what they really wanted was a big salary and not the hard work that goes with it. What people should be asking themselves before law school is, will I enjoy the practice of law at what I am making now (or at a very meager salary for students fresh out of undergrad) with only the POTENTIAL for future income growth over several years? If the answer is yes, go to law school. If it is not a resounding yes, then find another career. A law degree is not very useful outside the practice of law. Sure it can be adapted to other professions; but there are far less expensive degrees that are adaptive to a variety of industries. Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: weez on July 11, 2008, 07:22:17 PM
Do people think it's actually true that scholarshiped students are grouped together? I'm at 85% and trying to get it bumped up...and have to maintain a 3.0 (apparently the 'average' is a 2.67). It's bs if they group all the 'smart' kids together so that some of them lose their scholarships by default.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: dashrashi on July 13, 2008, 02:51:05 PM
Do people think it's actually true that scholarshiped students are grouped together? I'm at 85% and trying to get it bumped up...and have to maintain a 3.0 (apparently the 'average' is a 2.67). It's bs if they group all the 'smart' kids together so that some of them lose their scholarships by default.

I've heard that this is the standard MO at some schools. Can't personally vouch, though. I would call and ask. Aggressively. And I would ask to be put in touch with scholarship recipients from the year before. Oh yes I would.

And wowzers, Kenpo est un feminine hygiene product-bag. To. The. Max.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: StevePirates on July 13, 2008, 03:30:22 PM
At my school the scholarship students were spread out evenly by tier of scholarship across each section.

So there was one of the top scholarship kids per section, two of the next level per section, and then another amount of the partial-ride kids per section.  You should check with both the school and the scholarship kids from past years.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: AspenLizzy on July 16, 2008, 04:37:36 PM
I can say with confidence that Miami bunches the scholarship recipients.  I just managed to transfer out.  I never would have said a word otherwise. Even so...OP, take the money at Loyola or pay in-state at hastings.  You can always transfer if you do well.  If you don't do well you can always walk away or push on knowing the $60k is your $60k.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: kenpostudent on July 16, 2008, 06:53:35 PM
Just out of curiosity, what happens if someone has a scholarship to a lower tier school but transfers to another law school? Are scholarships generally unconditional in the sense that the student owes nothing for the first year if he/she decides to transfer?
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: AspenLizzy on July 16, 2008, 07:17:37 PM
yeah, i don't think they can rescind your scholarship and apply back tuition if you transfer, unless you sign some non-unconscionable fine print.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: baileypicks24 on July 16, 2008, 08:34:51 PM
Just out of curiosity, what happens if someone has a scholarship to a lower tier school but transfers to another law school? Are scholarships generally unconditional in the sense that the student owes nothing for the first year if he/she decides to transfer?

That sounds so evil. Haha! But anyways, the fine print from the scholarship I was offered said you can transfer and you won't owe anything back or anything like that for the time you were there. But it's a good thing to ask.
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: StevePirates on July 16, 2008, 08:44:57 PM
yeah, i don't think they can rescind your scholarship and apply back tuition if you transfer, unless you sign some non-unconscionable fine print.

As far as I can tell you're exactly wrong.

I've seen several schools where if you transfer up, the scholarship reverts into a loan.

Think about it objectively....  If you transfer out and have to pay that past year's tuition as a loan, then you wind up paying "sticker price" for your better ranked J.D.   That makes sense and is fair. 

If you don't graduate from the school giving you a scholarhip, they don't really benefit much.  Sure you help their admission numbers, but you hurt their attrition numbers.  And attrition numbers hurt more than admission number help.  Attrition numbers fuel both transfer ideas, and "curve" rumors.  It's a fair bargain that if you take the money you graduate from a school.

If a school lets you transfer out without reverting the scholarship, that would be an amazing windfall if you were "overqualified" for a specific school.  Free year of school?  Man, sign me up!
Title: Re: HELP!!!! Good schools vs Free school
Post by: baileypicks24 on July 16, 2008, 08:53:52 PM
yeah, i don't think they can rescind your scholarship and apply back tuition if you transfer, unless you sign some non-unconscionable fine print.

As far as I can tell you're exactly wrong.

I've seen several schools where if you transfer up, the scholarship reverts into a loan.

Think about it objectively....  If you transfer out and have to pay that past year's tuition as a loan, then you wind up paying "sticker price" for your better ranked J.D.   That makes sense and is fair. 

If you don't graduate from the school giving you a scholarhip, they don't really benefit much.  Sure you help their admission numbers, but you hurt their attrition numbers.  And attrition numbers hurt more than admission number help.  Attrition numbers fuel both transfer ideas, and "curve" rumors.  It's a fair bargain that if you take the money you graduate from a school.

If a school lets you transfer out without reverting the scholarship, that would be an amazing windfall if you were "overqualified" for a specific school.  Free year of school?  Man, sign me up!

Wow...well then, you should DEFINITELY find out the details for sure before you commit. Like I said, my scholly made clear I could transfer without having to owe anything back. I guess other schools don't work like that. Wow, pretty interesting stuff.